Here is all my preparations for my Ted Talk.
Romance in the media has affected our perception of love.
Needs 1000 words
Everywhere we look there is another version of a love story.
- Experience with Cayden
- Experience with Tyler
- How I see relationships now
- How to see the difference between enjoying a movie and story for what it is and taking it too seriously.
- Experiences with Tanner
You’re the best
You’re everything to me
I couldn’t live without you
You always make me smile
There is no one like you
I couldn’t be happy with anyone else
I can’t imagine a day without you
You complete me
I’ll never hurt you
Are these phrases cleche’? Over-used? Un-realistic? Unhealthy? When I was young these phrases were the only things that gave me joy. They were the only compliments that felt think they meant anything.
In my early teenage years, I was lover of romance stories, specifically movies. I would watch these stories unfold in front of me and just imagine my life being just as romantic and perfect as they were in these movies. Then one day, a boy came into my life and I thought I finally had my chance to live out my dream.
This boy was crazy about me. He would leave me little love notes in my locker, send me romantic texts when we were apart, and hug me for many minutes when we said goodbye after school. I got comfortable in this life, having someone swoon over me and give me affection and make me feel like I’m the only person he could ever care about. While he had super extreme “highs” with me, he also had extreme lows. He would go days at a time where he would just ignore me and I was left confused what I did. But the next thing I knew he was back to being crazy over me and never letting me go. It was a weird and confusing cycle.
When I was a Junior in High School, I started a relationship with someone long distance. I’m not sure how many of you have been in a long-distance relationship before, but coming from personal experience, it’s not particularly fun.
Over time you end up only giving your best face and your greatest image. You only focus on the best times and the best moments. I found myself hiding my upset and my bad feelings because I knew we only had a limited amount of time together and I wanted to make sure he still wanted to make time to call me. I would avoid the hard to face facts just to preserve the time that we had.
This was unhealthy and it lead to stagnation in our relationship. The next thing I knew we had been dating for over 2 years. It finally ended when he was at the last 6 months of his mission. He wrote an email explaining how we had different plans and goals for our lives. I was hurt that I put so much time and effort into the relationship and it was done in one minute. But deep down I knew he was right. I all my past relationships, I’ve felt there was always something missing. Something that never felt right or as if my significant other didn’t understand.
It took me a while to pin point what was happening. I’ve narrowed it down to a few options. One that I think has really affected this was the love stories I saw around me. Movies always show the best of the relationship, when they are most in love. Sure, they show hardships and trials, but they don’t show the mundane and normal times. That doesn’t make for good story telling.
Movies have tainted the way I view healthy relationships. They gave me a sense of security imagining my life as perfect like these stories make me feel like everything should be this way. And it’s taken a lot of time and effort to get over this mentality. I found the missing piece in my relationships was that I was holding all of these guys to unrealistic and unspoken standards. I either had to stop making expectations, or make my expectations known.
I ended up doing a mixture of both. I’ve stopped watching as many romance movies, as well as I’m speaking my mind more with the people I date. I make my wishes and dreams known so that there’s no guess work or they don’t feel like they’ve lost without knowing they were even playing the game.
Since I made these changes I am less caught up on stupid little things in relationships. I talk about how I feel and what I’m thinking more often. I work through things and collaborate more. In general, I feel more stable and as if everything is more normal. I’m hit with less random highs or random lows. I feel more connected to my significant other than any other in the past. I’ve felt more genuine with everything. More genuine care and more genuine love.
I may not be obsessed over, or told I’m the most gorgeous person in the world, or that I’m the only one he can be happy with, but in the end, those aren’t the things I want. I don’t want to be told how great I am, I want to be shown how much I’m appreciated. I don’t want everything handed to me, I want to work for it.
At the end of the day we should all be able to ask ourselves am I living in a movie?